After numerous member changes, a short lived hiatus, one member moonlighting in Maylene and the Sons Of Disaster and their It Hates You album in 2011, North Carolina’s He Is Legend have unleashed Heavy Fruit, their second for Tragic Hero Records.
He Is Legend have a firm grasp on their take of stoner rock, with alternative and metalcore influences, but with tracks like “Bethozart” that throw you a bizzare vibe unlike anything bands like Mr Bungle have released, it’s not hard to see that the band don’t want to be 100% pigeonholed into any particular style, so they can just be themselves and play what comes naturally.
"No Visitors" serves as a great start point, with heavy feed-backing guitars and Schuylar Croom‘s distinctive vocals. "This Will Never Work" follows up next, (one of the 2 songs released as a taster for the album) which was preceded by "Miserable Company", the first song released via their Facebook page.
While not as frantic as songs like “I Am Hollywood” from the album of the same name, Heavy Fruit has a solid and big sound and their maturity of being a band and being on the road for around ten plus years, is evident throughout.
While not being a massive departure or revolutionary for the band, Heavy Fruit is a great album for new and old fans alike. Solid song writing, tunes, and fun times aplenty with highs and lows throughout. - Andrew
We try and keep things pretty light around these parts, and for good reason, we all love and are passionate about music, and we use this small corner of the internet to share that passion with the world. Sometimes though there are issues and events which transcend our little space, and need to be shared on a wider scale - hence the reason for this post.
The entire Emo At Heart family mourns the loss of Robin Williams, who reportedly took his own life this afternoon. Williams’ talent was an inspiration to countless fans of his work. His films and television shows will live on to provide the rest of us with a lifetime of entertainment.
As we much as love Williams, we cannot forget, or brush aside, the manner in which today’s events unfolded. One source reported that Williams, who had a history of substance abuse and depression, had been battling a particularly troubling bout with depression as of late.
If you’ll forgive us for getting on our soapbox - suicide should be 100% preventable. There are countless organizations that provide 24/7 support and resources for anyone suffering with depression or any issue leading someone down this treacherous road.
If you, or anyone you know needs help, please don’t wait. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800 273 8255) is just one such resource, and there are many others available around the clock.
Remember, you are not alone.
While Denton, TX’s Flesh Born could be briefly described as a screamo band, their newest EP Han does a great job of confounding anybody with a flair for simple classifications. The blistering vocals, crunchy production, and melodic riffing may keep the four-piece’s feet firmly planted in their genre’s roots, but it’s the real variety of sounds and colors weaving in and out in these songs that makes it all such a fun listen.
Sometimes leaning more toward doom and black metal and sometimes leaning closer to hardcore and early emo, Flesh Born’s songwriters have somehow found a way to make it all make sense. Clocking in at just over 11 minutes over 8 tracks, Han delivers a raw and atmospheric ride that is at times minimal, at times aggressive, at times grandiose, but at all times dark and moody. All of this layering results in a relatively small EP with a huge amount of replay value.
“Empty” is one of several great stand-out tracks Han has to offer, starting out raw, fast and aggressive, and ending on a more melodic note. Along with a few other moments on the record, it also ventures into some of the post-rock/black metal territory of bands like Deafheaven. The melodic and doomy main riff in “The Other Side of Despair”, on the other hand, sounds more akin to a low-fi Torche song. Still, excellent and tasteful use of time changes, screeching vocals, and beautiful, guitar-driven interludes are a near constant throughout - effectively showing their roots in older emo and screamo acts and managing to tie everything together into a really fantastic release.
With its variety of moods and atmospheres, Han has such a cohesive sound that its varied and sometimes surprising influences only really seem to show themselves upon repeat listens. Flesh Born did a fantastic job here and I look forward to seeing where they take their sound next. -Paul
Until We Are Ghosts - the Rochester, NY five-piece, not the debut album by William Fitzsimmons - have released their first full length album, Bitterseed. This album marks a nice extension and progression from their previous EP that tells of a story of a band with a clear direction they are headed. The only thing that I can’t quite figure out about these guys is whether they are progressive hardcore punk or melodic post-hardcore that has a strong connection to their roots. Either way, I’m into it!
Bitterseed delivers a nine-track melodic hardcore assault with enough interesting guitar work to show their true musicianship. The production of the album is not super over-produced in the manner that a lot of bands in this genre tend to be, but at the same time it seems as if they are a notch above the typical hardcore punk bands who play this style as well. It has fast parts like you would expect from early Rise Against, unique breakdowns that are moshy without being bland and overdone (especially in the fourth track - “Wearing Thin”), and even some slow ambience parts to really show what these guys have to offer in terms of their musical abilities.
Vocally, these guys definitely hang more towards the hardcore punk side of things and they really don’t stray too far from that. Have you ever heard a friend say, “I would like this if it didn’t have the clean vocals.”? This is the perfect band for that situation that I personally have encountered all too often. Overall, Bitterseed is a solid release that leaves me interested in what these guys do next. - Rob G
Emerging from Charlotte, NC, Fragments is the debut full-length from Bruised But Not Broken, out now on Standby Records. Fragments follows the standard metalcore release pattern of a ten track full-length, but this is a pretty good release. There is some very interesting technical guitar work as well as some experimental electronic sound styles in their backing tracks. The vocal mix is a blend of clean and dirty that seems to be very well balanced.
Listening to this, it almost reminds me of the earlier Ice Nine Kills stuff with a hint of various randomness here and there. I even found myself being reminded of earlier Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park with some of their tracks, but I assure you I mean that in a good way. I can’t say that this is the most original thing I’ve ever heard, but metalcore is becoming a genre where everything has been done to death.
Bruised But Not Broken take some creative risks with this album that I feel pay off well for them. Overall, it’s a good release that leaves me wondering and looking forward to seeing what direction they will be heading. - Rob G
Currently making waves on the Vans Warped Tour, pop-punk foursome Four Year Strong just released a new EP, Go Down in History, out now on Pure Noise Records. Compared to the bands previous records, and their seeming obsession with infamy in the music world and references to movie titles - at least via song titles (see “Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die” and “Maniac (R.O.D.)”) - the 5 new songs seem appropriately titled.
The upbeat, electric sound the band is known for continues from the first to last note on this EP. They seemed to keep the streak of gang chants and hardcore/pop-punk attitude reminiscent to a mixture of Rise or Die Trying and Enemy of the World.
I had the privilege of seeing them live again on Warped Tour in NJ and when they previewed “Go Down In History” the crowd still seemed to enjoy the heavy beats even though no one knew the lyrics and couldn’t sing along. The official music video for the song perfectly encapsulates the Warped Tour and the pop-punk family and lifestyle that all of us feel grateful to be a part of. - Nicole
Formative punk rockers Rise Against released their latest album, The Black Market, earlier this month - landing them on the Billboard Top 10 for the 4th consecutive time; a phenomenal statement of the band’s commercial success, especially considering the band’s committment to their roots. Their progressive style of punk rock has kept that at the top, pioneers of the genre.
The Black Market comes a full three years after their previous release, but the wait was surely worth it. The incredible success of the album was the result of all the perfect factors coming together. For starters, Rise Against is still with DGC/Interscope Records. This well-oiled major label machine is one of the few to truly invest in the future of their bands. Their support has helped Rise Against grow into the powerhouse they are now.
Then there is the production team behind The Black Market. The album was produced by Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore, and recorded at the legendary Blasting Room in Ft. Collins, CO (also home to Alkaline Trio’s My Shame Is True, which featured Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath on guest vocals on one track). Years of producing incredible albums, punk rock and otherwise, have put Bill and Jason at the top of their game. As Rise Against continues to work with them, the band’s albums sound more and more phenomenal. With each recorded note, they push RA closer and closer to bleeding their souls dry for the sake of the listener. At this point, fans old and new can trust that a new RA record will simply melt their faces, even before they hear the first song.
As promised - the trust has been rewarded yet again - The Black Market will melt your face.
The first song you will have on repeat is “Tragedy + Time”. Singer Tim McIlrath’s voice is on full melodic blast and the lead guitar part comes along for the ride. Many bands have a song that is structured similar to this one, but Rise Against comes out on top of them all. The sense of melody that the band couples with their punk rock sensibilities drives the point home like no other. “The Eco-Terrorist In Me” is a progressive punk rock song if I ever heard one. The track moves from old school crunch, to melodies, to whoahs, to mid-tempo, to breakdown and back again, all in under 3 minutes. Other stand out tracks on the album include “Sudden Life”, “Methadone”, and “People Live Here.”
I don’t know what type of contract Rise Against signed with DGC/Interscope, or how many albums are left on it, but I can say though, with complete sincerity, I hope they stay on that label. The albums keep getting better, louder, and meaning more. After listening to The Black Market, I’m convinced there is still much more emotional fire to burn in the RA camp. - Brendan
Pop-metal band Alesana have decided to cancel their upcoming tour plans for Finland, Russia, and the Ukraine following the events of late and the political turmoil in the area.
Guitarist/vocalist Shawn Milke released the following statement:
To all of our fans in Finland, Russia, and Ukraine:
We are sad but we must regretfully announce the postponement of our trip overseas to play for our fans in Finland, Russia, and Ukraine. Politically, things have been tense in some of those regions and in light of the tragedy of Flight MH17 the members of Alesana, along with our families and loved ones, have decided it is in our best interest to postpone the dates until travel proves to be less inhibitive of our safety. We love our fans and cannot wait to play for each and every one of you, but circumstances have forced us to consider our well-being and the peace of mind of our families. We hope to see you very soon!
The band will still be hitting the road this September with Megosh, The Funeral Portrait, and The Things They Carried. Follow the band on Facebook for all music- and tour-related info, including when they’ll be releasing their as-yet-unnamed new album.